Lewotolo

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 8.272°S
  • 123.505°E

  • 1423 m
    4667 ft

  • 264230
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Weekly Report: 4 October-10 October 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


The number of shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes at Lewotolo recently increased, prompting PVMBG to raise the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 7 October. The report noted that the public should not enter the 2-km-radius exclusion zone around the crater. Solfatara emissions rose as high as 500 m above the crater rim on 9 October; emissions during 1 August-6 October rose 50-600 m. BNPB reported that five earthquakes recorded by Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika (BMKG) on 10 October ranged in magnitude between 3.9 and 4.9, and were located 10-30 km below Lewotolo. The events were felt by local populations, causing an evacuation of 723 people. Preliminary data suggested that five homes were damaged from rock avalanches, triggered by the earthquakes.

Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB)


Most Recent Bulletin Report: September 2016 (BGVN 41:09) Citation IconCite this Report


Thermal hotspots during 27 September-4 October 2015

During December 2011-January 2012, Lewotolo's seismic activity increased and the volcano produced thick, white plumes that rose as high as 250 m above the summit before subsiding (BGVN 36:12). Since that episode, no further activity was observed through 31 December 2016, except for several thermal anomalies during 27 September 2015-4 October 2015, as recorded by MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm (figure 2).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. The MODIS/MODVOLC composite image that indicates the location of thermal anomalies at Lewotolo between 27 September and 4 October 2015. One is N of the summit (27 September), the others are somewhat E. One of the two hotspots on 4 October appears on the E summit rim. The daily thermal alert maps indicated that the five hotspots were all weak.

Information Contacts: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://hotspot.higp.hawaii.edu/, http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).

Weekly Reports - Index


2017: October
2012: January
2011: December
2004: July


4 October-10 October 2017 Citation IconCite this Report


The number of shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes at Lewotolo recently increased, prompting PVMBG to raise the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 7 October. The report noted that the public should not enter the 2-km-radius exclusion zone around the crater. Solfatara emissions rose as high as 500 m above the crater rim on 9 October; emissions during 1 August-6 October rose 50-600 m. BNPB reported that five earthquakes recorded by Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika (BMKG) on 10 October ranged in magnitude between 3.9 and 4.9, and were located 10-30 km below Lewotolo. The events were felt by local populations, causing an evacuation of 723 people. Preliminary data suggested that five homes were damaged from rock avalanches, triggered by the earthquakes.

Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM); Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB)


25 January-31 January 2012 Citation IconCite this Report


On 25 January CVGHM lowered the Alert Level for Lewotolo from 3 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) based on decreased seismicity and visual observations during 5-15 January. During 5-15 January fumarolic plumes rose 200-500 m above the summit and incandescence was observed.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)


4 January-10 January 2012 Citation IconCite this Report


According to news articles, 500 people have evacuated their homes on 6 January because of increased activity at Lewotolo. Black smoke rose from the crater and rumbling sounds were reported. On 2 January CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4).

Sources: BNO News; Jakarta Globe


28 December-3 January 2012 Citation IconCite this Report


CVGHM reported that white plumes rose 50-250 m above the summit of Lewotolo during the month of December. Seismicity increased on 31 December and intensified on 2 January, the same day incandescence was observed. Based on visual and seismic observations, CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 2 January, then later that day raised the Alert Level to 3.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)


28 July-3 August 2004 Citation IconCite this Report


DVGHM stated that the pilot report of a plume emitted from Lewotolo on 25 June was false. Further investigation revealed that the emission was actually from Egon.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)


21 July-27 July 2004 Citation IconCite this Report


A pilot reported that a thin plume emitted from Lewotolo was at a height of ~300 m above the summit on 25 July. Ash was not visible on satellite imagery.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


Bulletin Reports - Index


Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

12/2011 (BGVN 36:12) December 2011-January 2012 seismicity, incandescence, and evacuations

09/2016 (BGVN 41:09) Thermal hotspots during 27 September-4 October 2015




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


December 2011 (BGVN 36:12) Citation IconCite this Report


December 2011-January 2012 seismicity, incandescence, and evacuations

Plumes and seismic activity at Lewotolo volcano, Indonesia, increased during December 2011 and early January 2012. Lewotolo has erupted potassic calc-alkaline lavas containing as an accessary phase in vessicle fillings, the rare, complex zirconium-titanium-oxide mineral zirconolite (Ca0.8 Ce0.2 Zr Ti1.5 Fe2+0.3 Nb0.1 Al0.1 O7; de Hoog and van Bergen, 2000). Lewotolo last erupted in 1951. All historical eruptions were small (Volcanic Explosivity Index, VEI 2) with the exception of the first recorded eruption, which took place in 1660 and was as large as VEI 3. According to de Hoog and van Bergen (2000), strong fumarolic activity at the summit of Lewotolo indicates the presence and degassing of a shallow magma chamber.

December 2011-January 2012 activity increase. According to the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Lewotolo produced thick white plumes reaching 50-250 m above the summit during December 2011. Seismicity increased on 31 December, and intensified on 2 January 2012 with tremor commencing at 1400. Accordingly, CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale from 1-4) at 1800 on 2 January. Between 1800 and 2300 the same day, the maximum amplitude of recorded seismicity increased, and at 2000, incandescence was noticed at the summit.

At 2330 on 2 January, CVGHM increased the Alert Level to 3. Under the recommendation of CVGHM, access was prohibited within 2 km of Lewotolo (Hazard Zone III, figure 1), and residents in villages SE of the volcano were advised to keep vigilant and secure a safe place to flee to one of the towns to the N, W, or S in the event of an eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Map of areas around Lewotolo showing Hazards Zones I-III. Hazard Zone I includes areas possibly threatened by ash fall and incandescent bombs (within 7 km of Lewotolo, yellow dashed circle) and areas possibly affected by lahars (shaded yellow). Hazard Zone II includes areas possibly threatened by heavy ash-fall and incandescent bombs (within 4 km of Lewotolo, dark pink dashed circle) and areas possibly affected by pyroclastic flows, lava flows, and lava avalanches (shaded light pink). Hazard Zone III includes areas very likely to be threatened by heavy ash fall and incandescent bombs (within 2 km of Lewotolo, light pink dashed circle) and areas very likely to be affected by pyroclastic flows, lava flows, lava avalanches, and volcanic gases (shaded dark pink). Other symbols are explained in the legend at the right. Authorities prohibited access to Hazard Zone III on 2 January 2012. Modified from CVGHM.

Residents decide to evacuate. According to Antara News, evacuations began on 4 January spurred by increased activity of the previous few days, as well as minor ash falling in the villages. Antara News stated that most of the residents went to Lewoleba, the closest city to the volcano (~15 km to the SW of the summit). Of the evacuees in Lewoleba, all but about 50 people were reported to have found temporary housing with other residents of the city.

On 5 January, Channel 6 News reported that around 500 residents had evacuated leaving their homes in villages surrounding Lewotolo. They noted that residents who evacuated did so on their own accord, as the government had not yet called for evacuation. The Deputy District Chief of Lembata, Viktor Mado Watun, said “Black smoke columns are coming out of the mountain’s crater, the air is filled with the smell of sulfur while rumbling sounds are heard around the mountain.”

According to UCA News on 9 January, the health of the evacuees was cause for concern. Father Philipus da Gomez stated that “there are many refugees who have started suffering from acute respiratory infections.”

Alert Level lowered. On 25 January 2012, CVGHM lowered the Alert Level of Lewotolo from 3 to 2 following decreased activity after 2 January. The lowered Alert Level restricted access to the summit craters only. CVGHM stated that the observed seismicity (table 1) showed a declining trend, tending towards normal conditions after 23 January. Visual observation revealed thick, white plumes reaching 400 m above the summit during 2-14 January (and a dim crater glow), and thin white plumes reaching no more than 50 m above the summit during 16-24 January (with no accompanying crater glow).

Table 1. Seismicity at Lewotolo during 3-24 January 2012, showing a declining trend in seismicity prior to CVGHM’s lowering of the Alert Level from 3-2 on 25 January. Data courtesy of CVGHM.

[Skip text table]
Seismicity                   3-7 Jan    8-12 Jan    13-17 Jan    18-22 Jan    23-24 Jan

Hot-air blasts (avg. / day)    368        349          346          314          308
Shallow volcanic               107         4            3            -            -
Deep volcanic                   28         5            -            1            -
Local tectonic                  14         2            3            7            4
Distant tectonic                 7         2            -            3            1

On 15 January, direct observation of the crater was made, and revealed incandescence in solfataras, a weak sulfur smell, and hissing sounds in both the N and S side of the crater. CVGHM especially noted that the N side of the crater was quite different than when it was last observed in June 2010, when no solfataras were present. Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) measurements revealed fluctuating and increasing SO2 flux between 11-90 tons/day during 8-16 January.

References. de Hoog, J.C.M. and van Bergen, M.J., 2000, Volatile-induced transport of HFSE, REE, Th, and U in arc magmas: evidence from zirconolite-bearing vesicles in potassic lavas of Lewotolo volcano (Indonesia), Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, v. 139, no. 4, p. 485-502 (DOI: 10.1007/s004100000146).

Information Contacts: Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Jl. Diponegoro 57, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, 40 122 (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Channel 6 News (URL: http://channel6newsonline.com/); Antara News, Wisma ANTARA 19th Floor, Jalan Merdeka Selatan No. 17, Jakarta Pusat (URL: http://www.antaranews.com/); UCA News, Yayasan UCINDO, Gedung Usayana Holding, Lt.3, Jl. Matraman Raya No.87, Jakarta Timur 13140 (URL: http://www.ucanews.com/).


September 2016 (BGVN 41:09) Citation IconCite this Report


Thermal hotspots during 27 September-4 October 2015

During December 2011-January 2012, Lewotolo's seismic activity increased and the volcano produced thick, white plumes that rose as high as 250 m above the summit before subsiding (BGVN 36:12). Since that episode, no further activity was observed through 31 December 2016, except for several thermal anomalies during 27 September 2015-4 October 2015, as recorded by MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm (figure 2).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. The MODIS/MODVOLC composite image that indicates the location of thermal anomalies at Lewotolo between 27 September and 4 October 2015. One is N of the summit (27 September), the others are somewhat E. One of the two hotspots on 4 October appears on the E summit rim. The daily thermal alert maps indicated that the five hotspots were all weak.

Information Contacts: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://hotspot.higp.hawaii.edu/, http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Eruptive History


There is data available for 9 Holocene eruptive periods.


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
2012 Jan 2 2012 Jan 14 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Summit
1951 Dec 15 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1920 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1899 Jun 2 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1864 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1852 Oct 5 1852 Oct 6 Confirmed 2 Historical Observations K2 crater
1849 Oct 6 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1819 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations
1660 Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations

Deformation History


There is no Deformation History data available for Lewotolo.

Emission History


There is no Emissions History data available for Lewotolo.

Photo Gallery


Lewotolo volcano, rising here above the village of Jontona, anchors the eastern end of the northern peninsula that is connected to Lembata (formerly Lomblen) Island by a narrow isthmus. The symmetrical stratovolcano contains a small cone with a 130-m-wide crater constructed at the SE side of a larger crater that forms the volcano's summit. Many lava flows have reached the coastline. Historical eruptions, recorded since 1660, have consisted of explosive activity from the summit crater.

Photo by Kasturian, 1981 (Volcanological Survey of Indonesia).
See title for photo information.
Lewotolo, seen here from the Flores Sea NW of the volcano, anchors the eastern end of the northern peninsula that is connected to Lomblen Island by a narrow isthmus. Many lava flows have reached the coastline of the peninsula. Historical eruptions from Lewotolo have been recorded since 1660 and have consisted of explosive activity from the summit crater.

Photo by Rob McCaffrey, 1982 (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).
See title for photo information.
Four volcanoes are seen in this NASA Space Shuttle image (with north to the upper left) of Solor (lower left), Adonara (upper left), and Lembata (right) Islands. Ililabalekan volcano on SW Lembata (formerly Lomblen) Island is the only one of these without historical eruptions, although fumaroles are found near its summit. A satellitic cone was constructed on the SE flank of the steep-sided volcano, and four craters, one of which contains a lava dome and two small explosion pits, occur at the summit of Mount Labalekan.

NASA Space Shuttle image ISS009-E-7480, 2004 (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


There are no samples for Lewotolo in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

Affiliated Sites